Flag Eagle

Joseph K. Merton

July 28, 1946 ~ October 13, 2020 (age 74)


Joseph Kendall Merton was born July 28, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois to Joseph and Valenia Merton. He has two brothers, Geoffrey and David, with Joseph being the eldest child.

Much of Joe’s childhood was spent traveling across the country with his family. Many stories were shared about their cross-country road trips, the fights endured between brothers and the adventures of camping.

Taking much pride in the fact that his father was a Tuskegee Airmen, Joe was proud to be part of a military family. He worked a dual career in the National Guard and as an IT professional. His enthusiasm and dedication to the Army elevated Joseph to the rank of Major and gave him command of the 178th Infantry Battalion. Academics was always a passion for Joe. From graduating high school early, to gaining a master’s degree,

Joe was consistently finding new ways to learn and considered himself a forever student. Not only did he enjoy the inquisition of learning, but also felt honored to share his knowledge with family from lessons learned and wisdom from life experiences. As a traveling student of photography, Joseph took joy in capturing all types of images such as nature’s beauty, family gatherings, moments in time, and even photos of the family cat he grew to love.

Joe’s last photo project focused on traveling along the Great Lakes to capture the beauty of lighthouses. It was a project he was passionate about and took delight in sharing the images and stories from his adventures.

Joseph is survived by his children, Joseph, John, Michael and Catherine, his brothers, David and Geoffrey and his grandchildren. He was loved and will be missed by many other family and friends. Joseph was preceded in death by wife, Vernita Merton. Joseph and Vernita were joined in matrimony on June 1, 1980. They enjoyed beyond a lifetime of happiness. While no longer here on earth, it is imagined that Joseph is with Vernita, traveling the Virgin Islands, taking pictures and in peace.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph K. Merton, please visit our floral store.


October 23, 2020

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Schaffer Funeral Service @ Woodruff Funeral Home
16774 Dixie Highway
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

Interment following funeral service
October 23, 2020

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
20953 W Hoff Rd
Elwood, IL 60421

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